February 14, 2012
A Lovestruck Design Notes
Happy Discount Candy Day Eve!
Hope all of you are having a wonderful and love-filled Valentine’s Day, not-so-bitter Singles Awareness Day, anticipatory Clearance Chocolates Eve, or a great Tuesday. I’ve put heart socks on the Squidlings for the occasion, but I’m sure you’re having just as much fun as Mr. Squiddles.
Due to the paint in his office still being wet, Raymus wasn’t quite ready to open shop last week, but he’ll (hopefully) get the contractors out of the building by Friday. He’s brought along with him some new housing features. Starting Friday, you’ll be able to see whose home you’ve invaded, and homeowners will be able to restrict access to their homes. If you own a home, you will now be able to restrict access to your home to make it private (only you have access), to your buddy list only, or just let everyone come in and track dirty mud all over your carpets!
We will also be slashing prices on home items! This means there's never been a better time to decorate!
Following the success of the lowbie drops, we’ve expanded PvP drops to include weapons for everyone! You get a drop! And you get a drop! In addition to expanding the PvP drop weapons to include weapons for all levels, we are adding the Hoverbike and Assault Bot to the mix. Rumor has it that there may also be some "broken" items that are unusable. I wonder if there's anyone who could fix them? Unfortunately, with the revaming of the drop system, the random credit bonuses and home prizes are going away forever. With mission rewards and power hour, there are many more reliable ways to get credits.
We’re also adding another dropped bot: the Rusty Assault Bot. Since it’s rusty and secondhand, this bot has similar effects to the Assault Bot, but he’s a little weaker. If you’re impatient and want to buy a refurbished bot, you can buy him (for credits only) at Junker.
We may be repurposing the arcade in future updates with minigames and other fun extraneous things to do (like "Battle Fruits"!).
In addition to Mr. Alexander, players will meet one of Administrator 12’s lackeys, a man nicknamed by the Exiles as “NegaWraith” due to his uncanny resemblance to the interstellar assassin Nightwraith. Could he be an asset? An enemy? What is his plan? These questions and more will be answered in Part II of the Heartbreaker Saga. See the Exile Soldier in the Bazaar (next to Titan) for more info and to begin Part II of the Heartbreaker Saga.
Word on the streets (of the Internet) is that Artix Entertainment is making its very first 3D game! Since space is limited, we're giving everyone who has ever purchased Varium in EpicDuel, along with members of the other AE games, a chance to grab your favorite name before anyone else! For more information, please check out http://artix.com/, your source for all things AdventureQuest 3D, and the future home of the Artix Entertainment portal.
BEEEES! OH GOD, NOT THE BEES!
Let me start out this week’s insect fact with a little anecdote. This weekend was completely spent on an assignment for my Environmental Studies class, and it was a review of the factors contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder. Being the sole Entomologist in the class (and pretty sure I’m the only Entomologist at my institution of Higher Learning), I ended going way off the deep end and wrote 10 pages for what I found out later was supposed to be a 2 page assignment. Suffice to say, I’ve been brain-deep in bee for the past few days. My conclusion for that paper is that further research is needed to quantify synergistic effects between pesticides and use measurement endpoints other than honeybee mortality to quantify the effect of chemicals such as imidicloprid, which confuses bees and the workers are likely to wander off and forget where their hive is. Also, the medicines used prophylactically to prevent bacterial infection may weaken the bees’ defense to the effect of chronic sublethal exposure to multiple pesticides, including those that prevent harm coming to the hive from Varroa mites. The parasitic mite Varroa destructor lives up to its name, and will wipe out a thriving colony in a year if left untreated. So, things are very unclear as how to manage the threats to honeybees.
One thing I found interesting that I actually hadn’t thought about before, is that the honeybee is an invasive species in North America, and there are over 4,000 species of native North American bees that can “pick up the slack” if we were to lose all of our honeybees. The bumblebee (genus Bomba) is actually a more efficient agricultural pollinator than the honeybee!